Animal Species:Green Moon Wrasse, Thalassoma lutescens (Lay & Bennett, 1839)

The Green Moon Wrasse is a beautifully coloured fish, which changes its colour with growth. It is found in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.

Standard Common Name

Green Moon Wrasse

Alternative Name/s

Blue-fin Wrasse, Sunset Wrasse, Yellow Moon Wrasse, Yellow-green Wrasse


The Green Moon Wrasse changes colour with growth. Juveniles are brown to green-yellow and have pale orange lines on the head. Males are green-yellow. The pectoral fin is yellow and blue with a black margin. There are salmon-coloured lines on the head. The side of the body behind the pectoral fin is blue. The caudal fin of juveniles is rounded but becomes lunate in mature males.

Size range

The species grows to 25 cm in length.


The Green Moon Wrasse is known from tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is recorded from south-western to north-western Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland to the central coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Thalassoma lutescens</

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Green Moon Wrasse specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Feeding and Diet

The species feeds on a variety of invertebrates.



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  6. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  7. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Green Moon Wrasse, Thalassoma lutescens, Labridae, green, blue, yellow, pink, red, orange, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, stripes or bands, countershaded, coral reef, marine, adult,